Peabody is the building, Jack is the dog, and I'm Dean J (she/her, btw).

There are years of posts here. The search box works well, but please consider the age of the posts when you find them. The college admission process changes every year!

References to emailing updates to your application are from the years when we didn't have the current applicant portal. Please follow the instructions in your portal to submit all updates.

Welcome to the blog and thanks for reading!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Thin Mints & Files

The Grounds are empty. The buses are not very full. Spring Break has started. Wait...that might be haiku. It is haiku! Not very good haiku, but haiku nonetheless.

In Peabody Hall, we're polishing off Girl Scout cookies at an alarming rate and still working on getting each application in front of two different readers. Our administrative staff estimates that they are half way through scanning and linking all the mid-year reports that came in late (for some reason, many high schools sent those late this year).

If MYs are still on your checklist, relax. No need to worry just yet!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Some stats to consider

I won't have this year's admission stats ready for another month or so, but I thought I'd post links to past years' stats to give you an idea of what might happen this year. Keep in mind that applications went up dramatically this year (we're up over 22,000 applications), probably due to our move to the Common App, and it's hard to say if the increase in number also means an increase in quality. Each year, we've offered to over 6,000 applicants to get a class of around 3,200 students. I haven't looked into what the projections are for this year, but will share those when I can.

2007 Admission Statistics
2008 Admission Statistics

Those posts are just my blog entries from past years. If you want the official data for past years (going back quite some time), see the Office of Institutional Assessment's Data Catalog. Each school to which you are applying should have a Data Catalog published. Just google that term and the school name if you want to find stats for the other schools on your list.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Likely Letter questions answered

There are so many questions in the Likely Letter comments that I thought I'd post some responses as a new entry.

Danielle, if the college course you took doesn't appear on your high school transcript, fax the college transcript to 434-924-7674. You don't need a cover page, just circle your name and date of birth on the transcript.

Grateful, thanks for your comment. I hope everyone remembers to use the search box at the top of the blog to find answers to their questions!

XXL, because grading scales vary dramatically from school to school, I can't really be specific about what mid-year grades will affect your application negatively.

Anonymous, there is no rule about spacing admission essays. I personally prefer single spaced essays.

Anonymous and NorthEndWahoo, it's a simple question of weight ratios. Did one of you write an essay about a favorite word being "ni"?

UVa Hopeful, since we have only sent out one batch of Likely Letters, I don't know if the number generated has increased. We we won't know that for a few weeks. I can't generate that stat easily because we are using a different computer system than in years past.

The Virginia Society has started to call students who might be considered for the Echols Scholars Program. They are not calling Rodman or College Science Scholars candidates.

Jesse, our system uses your official ETS score report to pull the highest scores from each section of the SAT. Don't worry about self-reported SAT scores.

Anonymous, we don't read by region. The letters were not sent by region.

Anonymous, see the update I posted to the original entry.

Anonymous, sounds like ETS hasn't sent those scores or they didn't match up exactly to your application. No worries...that will work itself out in time and we'll use the scores on your transcript. Don't worry about that item on your to do list.

Please pick an alias instead of using the anonymous button. As you can see, it's hard to direct replies when half the questions coming from "Anonymous". Hit the "Name/URL" button and fill in a doesn't have to be real.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

CavDog Takeover

Hey everyone! Dean J has been sick, but thought you all needed a zen moment, so I'm taking over the blog to show you this awesome stick that I found a few weeks ago when we went hiking. Isn't it great?

Dean J will be back tomorrow. She thinks you should go check out UVa Life, the student blog, while she's away.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Likely Letters have started to go out (2009)

We know time creeps by slowly between deadline and notification. Many schools break the silence by sending "Likely Letters" to a handful of students with strong profiles. For some, the arrival of the letter will be confusing. What does it mean? Is a response in order?

Here's the deal:
1. A Likely Letter is our way of saying we think you're a strong candidate in our pool. It is not an offer letter, but if your mid-year grades are as good as those already on your transcript, you can be fairly confident about you admission decision.

2. There is no set number of Likely Letters, but comparatively few are sent. As I've written in the past, it's safe to assume you won't get a Likely Letter. Don't look for it. If it comes, it's a pat on the back.

3. There are times when mid-years arrive and show a drop in curriculum strength or grades that prompts us to change our decision.

4. Likely Letters go to domestic and international students, but they are put in regular mail, so they will not get to some students in foreign countries. They will not be posted online.

5. Please don't call to ask about Likely Letters. They mean exactly what they say. There is no need to respond to these letters.


2/21/09 Update:
I posted this elsewhere and figured I'd post it here, too.

Last year, I believe we ran the letters three different times during the reading process. There are still plenty of applications to read and more letters will be run at some point in the future. I'll let you all know on this blog when they get sent out again.

We are still "first reading" applications at this point. The administrative staff that has been scanning and linking mid-year reports is also trying to contact students and schools about missing documents to get nearly complete applications ready to read.

We are still over a month away from having decisions ready. Hang in there!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Weekend Topic: Basketball

I took a quick video at the Clemson game today (the Hoos won in overtime, 85-81) to show you where you'll get to sit at basketball games if you come to UVa. Keep in mind that this video was taken at halftime and the game was early this afternoon. John Paul Jones arena is not always as quiet as this!

Entrance to sporting events is included in student activity fees, so there are no tickets to secure for sporting events. At basketball games, students sit in the section behind the team benches (the right side of the frame) and behind one of the baskets (opposite the camera). The band, cheerleaders, and dance team take up a good amount of the space behind that basket, too.

This little video shows Sean Singletary's (CLAS '08) number being added to the banner of retired numbers.

For more information about Virginia athletics, check out the Virginia Sports website.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

UVa professor's TV show debuts Sunday!

National Geographic Channel, the channel HDTVs were made for watching, will debut the show "Known Universe" this Sunday at 8 PM.

One of the hosts of that show is Lou Bloomfield, a beloved member of the Physics department at UVa. Students flock to Lou's classes, especially the ever popular PHYS 106: How Things Work (he has a similarly named website for the public).

Friday, February 13, 2009

If you STILL haven't logged into the Student Information System

Back in December, I tried to convince you that you needed to log into the Student Information System (SIS). Just in case you lost the email with you verification details in it, we are resending that email to those who have not yet logged into the system. The email is going out on Monday or Tuesday.

Student Self-Service is where you'll see your decision (around April 1st*), accept your offer of admission or a spot on the waitlist, pay all of your bills, update your contact info, etc. throughout your career at UVa.

If you have not logged into the system and lost your email (or never got it), please add to your address book now so this email doesn't go into your junk/spam folder.

*As always, if the notification date changes, you will hear about it first on this blog.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Flip Video test drive

This is just a test to see how these videos might look on the blog.

How we spend our days

The first comment on the Flip Video post suggested I record myself to show you what my day is like. At this time of year, my days are not very exciting. They are either spent here:

Or here:

My colleagues are in the same boat.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My new toy

I had a neat gadget delivered to my office today: a Flip Video camera. The web communications group here at UVa is embarking on a project that will put a few dozen of these into student hands to document life on Grounds. I imagine we'll see some of the videos show up on the UVa Youtube channel and others might make their way onto Youtube in other ways.

I need your help, though. What do you think I should document?

The L word

They're coming...stay tuned for this year's missive on likely letters. While I put the finishing touches on that entry, you can read last year's posts about these letters.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Linking update

I was chatting with a colleague about the scanning and linking process today. First of all, you should know that the administrative staff, the people who scan documents and then electronically file them, is working pretty much non-stop (including weekends) to finish linking all the documents you've sent us. They seem to think they'll be done by the end of the week or this weekend, which means they might start contacting you about missing documents next week. So, if you've been worrying about your status, just sit tight for another week. You aren't in trouble. You won't be penalized if something is missing.

What else should you be doing? Well, nothing much. There is no need to send letters, more recommendations, or copies of the term paper you just finished.

Oh, and if you got the mid-year reminder email today, don't fret. It's a reminder. If you already know that your counselor is sending those, there's no need to run to the guidance office tomorrow morning in a panic.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Mid-year grades are due February 15

Mid-year grades have been rolling in and our staff is scanning and linking those on top of still working through what came in during January. On Monday or Tuesday, we will email those who don't have mid-years filed yet just to remind them that those reports need to be sent. Do not panic if your counselor has sent your first semester/trimester grades and you get this email. It just means your grades haven't been linked to your file yet. They might be en route right now.

We hope your counselors can sent your mid-year grades by February 15th. As was the case with Secondary School Reports and transcripts, mid-years can come in either through the Common App's counselor system or by mail. We're happy to file the Common App's mid-year form along with your transcript, but if we just get a transcript, that's fine as well.

If you live in a country where school is over for the year, don't worry about mid-year grades. We are aware that you don't have anything to send us!

Monday, February 02, 2009's snowing

Charlottesville hit a high of about 62 degrees this afternoon and now it's snowing. I added a few pictures to the slide show.

Weather was supposed to be a weekend topic...we'll get back to the admission talk tomorrow.